Krithika Varagur in Subang, West Java: "Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory" (The Guardian)
Workers complain of verbal abuse, impossible targets and 'poverty pay' so bad they have to live away from their children.
Paul Krugman: Their Own Private Pyongyang (NY Times Blog)
I don't have a full explanation. But surely a starting point is the realization that while America as a whole isn't an authoritarian regime - yet - the modern Republican party in many ways is. That is, once you've made the decision to become Republican, you find yourself living in your own private Pyongyang.
David Grabowski and Vincent Mor: You're Probably Going to Need Medicaid (NY Times)
Mr. Trump and the Republicans would lower spending on the frailest and most vulnerable people in our health care system. They would like most Americans to believe that these cuts will not affect them, only their "undeserving" neighbors. But that hides the truth that draconian cuts to Medicaid affect all of our families. They are a direct attack on our elderly, our disabled and our dignity.
Garrison Keillor: Taking a Break from the News (Washington Post)
Europe's charms are enough to get one to consider emigration.
Simon Hattanstone: "Steve Earle: 'My wife left me for a younger, skinnier, less talented singer'" (The Guardian)
Steve Earle has never been so busy. The 62-year-old is a singer-songwriter, actor, playwright, novelist, memoirist, political activist - and we've not even got to the heart of the matter yet. "Autism is the centre of my life, apart from recovery. They are the two things that control my life."
JONATHAN KIRSHNER: The Obsessions of Hitchcock, Welles, and Kubrick (Boston Review)
Film buffs will approach The Extraordinary Image with eager anticipation. Robert Kolker, former president of the Society for Cinema Studies, has enjoyed a long and distinguished academic career.
Amanda Madden: "7 Huge Scandals (That Got Broken By Random Nobodies)" (Cracked)
Being an investigative journalist is thankless work, involving a lot of late nights, a few crippling addictions, and a smattering of divorces. But it's all worth it when you finally connect the dots and break the story -- only to find out that some nobody from The Nowhere Gazette already did it months ago. That's because for every Bob Woodward, every Snowden, and every Carl Bernstein (they're not conjoined at the hip, you know), there are a bunch of unknown schmucks who have changed the world without us ever noticing them.
Free campaign training for every Democratic candidate.
David Bruce: William Shakespeare's 11 Tragedies: Retellings in Prose (Amazon Kindle)
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
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In The Chaos Household
So, a member of congress with a 100% rating from the NRA, a man who voted that the mentally unstable have a right to weapons, got shot.
'Closer Look' Segments Are 'Late Night' Staple
From "covfefe" to Sean Spicer's press briefings, the Trump administration has provided a steady stream of material for late-night shows.
NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" now devotes up to 12 minutes of airtime three to four days a week with a segment called "A Closer Look."
During these segments, Meyers and his writers take an element of news and do a deep dive. On Monday it was President Donald Trump's efforts to discredit former FBI Director James Comey while also trying to bolster his own reputation. He asked Cabinet members to give him compliments in an on-air round table.
"Is there anything creepier than Trump making his staff go around the room and praise him? Even Kim Jong Un is like, 'Dude, have some self-respect,'" joked Meyers in "A Closer Look" segment.
"I think one of the great advantages we have over real journalists who wonderfully have higher standards than we do is, when you're dealing with an administration that often doesn't have a lot of respect for integrity, comedy shows like ours are kind of better suited to call them out," he said.
Bat-Signal to Shine
The bat-signal will shine one final time for a beloved Dark Knight.
The late Adam West will be honored Thursday night with a lighting of the iconic signal in Los Angeles, with Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. Police Department Chief Charlie Beck doing the honors.
The public is invited to the event, which will take place at 9 p.m. at City Hall (200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012). West, who played the Caped Crusader on the classic 1960s series Batman, died Saturday at 88.
For fans who can't make it to the ceremony, West's family is encouraging people to donate to the Adam West Memorial Fund for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Donations can also be made to Camp Rainbow Gold, an Idaho-based charity for children battling cancer.
Theater Refuses To Back Down
Just two weeks after Kathy Griffin was widely criticized for posing with a decapitated plastic head that resembled Donald Trump (R-Grifter), the Public Theater in New York City began to perform a scene in which a character that strongly resembles Trump is brutally killed. However, unlike Griffin, the Public Theater is refusing to apologize.
In its rendition of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" that premiered Monday at Central Park's Delacorte Theater but has been in previews since May, the title character is blond, wears a blue suit, owns a gold bathtub, and is even married to a woman with a Slavic accent. Caesar is stabbed to death by members of his own government who doubt his ability to lead their nation.
A storm of controversy ensued since last week when a clip of the death scene was widely circulated online. But the Public Theater sees no reason to apologize.
"The Public Theater stands completely behind our production of Julius Caesar," the nonprofit theater group wrote in a statement on its website. "We understand and respect the right of our sponsors and supporters to allocate their funding in line with their own values. We recognize that our interpretation of the play has provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors and supporters have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions."
According to the Public Theater, the play was designed to get people talking.
Richard and Mildred Loving
When Richard and Mildred Loving had the audacity to marry, Virginia law officers jailed them. The state's highest court later agreed it was right to outlaw their marriage because he was white and she was black.
Now, a half century after the Lovings won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized interracial marriage nationwide, the couple has been honored with a historical marker outside the old Virginia Supreme Court building where they suffered a legal defeat.
"We honor their courage to stand up for the right to love unconditionally, their strength to endure the struggle against all odds and their tenacity to prove that loving is really what it's all about," Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, said Monday during a dedication ceremony.
The couple agreed to leave Virginia for 25 years in order to avoid a one-year jail sentence, but after several years in Washington decided they wanted to come home. Mildred Loving wrote to then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and was referred to the American Civil Liberties Union, which took on the case.
In the unanimous 1967 U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren said the state's argument - that the policy was necessary to preserve racial integrity - was "obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy."
Richard and Mildred Loving
First Gay Prime Minister
Leo Varadkar promised a "republic of opportunity" Wednesday after he became Ireland's youngest prime minister and the first who is openly gay.
The Dublin-born politician's Indian immigrant father and Irish mother were in parliament to watch as the 38-year-old was formally confirmed as taoiseach.
Varadkar, who won the leadership of the ruling centre-right Fine Gael party earlier this month, was confirmed by 57 votes to 50, with 47 abstentions.
In his acceptance speech, Varadkar emphasised youthful energy, arguing that the politics of the past were no longer fit for purpose.
"The government that I lead will not be one of left or right because those old divisions do not comprehend the political challenges of today," he said.
71 Of The Most Alarming Things He's Said
Donald Trump (R-Crooked) is celebrating his 71st birthday on Wednesday. While it may not be a national holiday quite yet, it is his first since becoming President, and will undoubtedly be a special day for him.
People usually receive cakes on their birthdays, with their age mirrored by the number of candles. But with baked goods from the mainstream media unlikely to get past White House security these days, we can only offer the next best thing: a list of 71 things Trump has actually said - one for every year he has lived.
It would usually be difficult to compile so many memorable quotes from a President, but Trump has produced so many that it's actually difficult to whittle them down to just 71. And what's more, they keep on coming.
If Trump's presidency already alarms you, then be warned: some of these quotes may keep you up at night. But if you're a fan of the President, then here he is, in his own words, unfiltered by the mainstream media. Still sure about him? Ok. Well, enjoy:
"Amazing how the haters & losers keep tweeting the name "F**kface Von Clownstick" like they are so original & like no one else is doing itů" (Tweeted in 2013)
For the other 70, T-rump
Appeals Court Tosses Cap
A federal court struck down regulations intended to cap the price of some calls to prison inmates, which can cost families thousands of dollars a year.
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found Tuesday that the Federal Communication Commission lacked authority to set rates for calls between inmates and people in the same state.
Companies that provide prison phone service have defended their prices and sued to stop the 2015 FCC rules . The in-state rate caps, intended to stop high charges between inmates and people in the same state, were suspended by earlier court decisions and never went into effect. The FCC does regulate the price of out-of-state calls for prisoners.
Advocates for prisoners and their families have long pushed for regulation to prevent price-gouging in the inmate phone market. The FCC noted in 2015 that costs for a call could be as high as $14 a minute, a prohibitive expense for many low-income families trying to stay in touch with incarcerated loved ones.
In August 2016, the FCC proposed capping both out-of-state and in-state call rates at a range of 13 to 31 cents per minute. The FCC had said that would reduce the price of an average 15-minute call for most inmates by about 35 percent.
Don't Worry About Rising Seas
The mayor of the tiny Chesapeake Bay island community of Tangier saysDonald Trump (R-Crooked) called him after seeing a news report about the threat the village faces from sea-level rise and its strong support for him in November.
Trump called James "Ooker" Eskridge, the mayor of Tangier, Virginia, after CNN reported on the island last week, The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland, reported.
The island is also sinking from erosion and rising sea levels, and scientists predict residents may have to abandon it within 25 to 50 years.
But Eskridge said Trump reassured him. "He said not to worry about sea-level rise," Eskridge said. "He said, 'Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.'"
About 87 percent of Tangier residents who cast ballots in November voted for Trump, and Eskridge said during the CNN interview that he loved Trump like a family member.
Company Files For Bankruptcy
A company that sells soup from the recipes of the chef who was the real-life model of the Soup Nazi on "Seinfeld" has filed for bankruptcy less than a month after its chief financial officer was arrested on charges he cheated the government out of employment-related taxes.
Soupman Inc., based in Staten Island, sells soups made from the recipes of Al Yeganeh. Yeganeh and his soup stand were the inspirations behind the "Seinfeld" television show character, who shouted the catchphrase "No soup for you!"
The company's CEO, Jamie Karson, said Tuesday that "the combination of legacy liabilities and recent company developments have made it necessary to seek bankruptcy protection." Karson said its products, including jambalaya, lobster bisque and chicken gumbo, would still be available in stores.
Last month, CFO Robert Bertrand was charged in Brooklyn federal court with failing to pay Medicare, Social Security and federal income taxes for company employees. The government said he paid employees unreported cash and gave some workers large unreported stock awards from 2010 through 2014.
According to the indictment, the total estimated tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service was $593,000. Bertrand, of Norwalk, Connecticut, has pleaded not guilty and has been released on $50,000 bail.
Leonardo Da Vinci
The identity of Leonardo da Vinci's mother has eluded historians for years, but now one scholar said he's found the woman behind the Renaissance man.
After digging through overlooked records in Italy, Martin Kemp, a leading Leonardo expert, claimed that the artist was born to Caterina di Meo Lippi, a 15-year-old orphan, on April 15, 1452.
From existing documents, historians already knew that Leonardo was mostly raised by his father, a lawyer named Ser Piero da Vinci. Scholars also knew that Ser Piero was not married to Leonardo's mother, and there was some indication that her name was Caterina.
The gaps in knowledge among these details have led to a somewhat obsessive speculation about Caterina's identity. Sigmund Freud even weighed in with a psychoanalytical interpretation of Leonard's childhood. Freud claimed that the enigmatic smile in the 'Mona Lisa' must have reminded Leonardo of (you guessed it) his mother, which is why the painting captures both "the promise of unlimited tenderness and sinister threat."
More recent investigations have stuck to the biographical details, with some scholars claiming Leonardo's mother was a slave from North Africa or Turkey. Caterina was a common name for slaves at the time, and one analysis claimed a Leonardo fingerprint had features common to people of Middle Eastern origin.
But Kemp, an emeritus professor of art history at Oxford University, painted Caterina as a local girl. He told The Guardian that her life "was a real sob story." His research in the archives of Vinci and Florence suggested that Caterina and her brother, Papo, were orphaned and lived in a derelict farmhouse with their grandmother, just outside of Vinci. Meanwhile, Ser Piero da Vinci was on his way to becoming a successful lawyer in Florence and was due to be married. But during a visit to his hometown in July 1451, Ser Piero must have met Caterina, and gotten her pregnant. Then, his family probably gave her a dowry so that she could be married off to someone else.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Anita Pallenberg, a model and actress who had children with Keith Richards and served as a muse for The Rolling Stones, has died. She was 75.
Pallenberg was born on April 6, 1942. She served as inspiration for the Stones' "Miss Amanda Jones" and "You Got the Silver."
She appeared in films like "Barbarella," ''Candy," ''Le Berceau de Cristal" and "Performance," which included Mick Jagger.
Pallenberg first dated the late Brian Jones of the Stones, but later dated Richards, with whom she had three children (their youngest son died months after he was born).
Pallenberg said in an interview with The Guardian in 2008 that she didn't want to write her autobiography because publishers wanted dirt and drama about the Stones.
"I had several publishers and they were all the same. They all wanted salacious," she said.
Pallenberg will be cremated and a memorial service is being planned. She is survived by a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.